Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

IMAGE Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

IMAGE Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

IMAGE Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Oregon

IMAGE Tuesday, 17 May 2011
A cultural celebration of the seven Celtic nations, the new festival on the Oregon coast features Celtic music, dance, food, drink, crafts, vendors, kids events, family histories and Highland Games. Read More...

World's largest tidal power project

IMAGE Thursday, 07 April 2011
The world's largest tidal stream energy array will be built in the Sound of Islay on Scotland's west coast. Read More...

Wales' new devolution settlement

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
Following the 'Yes' victory in the 3 March 2011 Referendum, Wales will now be able to pass its own laws in twenty policy fields. Read More...

The Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland has an unparalleled display of polygonal columns of basalt rock resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Read More...

Scottish Oil industry hit by UK tax increase

Oil and gas businesses in the North Sea warn thousands of jobs are at risk after UK government announces new £2billion tax on the industry.

Oil and gas businesses in the North Sea warn thousands of jobs are at risk after UK government announces new £2billion tax on the industry.

UK Chancellor George Osborne unveiled Budget plans to raise £2billion (€2.2billion) taxes on oil production to pay for a reduction in petrol costs for motorists.

In response to the recent surge in global oil prices, Mr Osborne cut 1pence (1.1cent) per litre in fuel duty but announced the measure would be financed by taxing the North Sea oil and gas industry.

The Scottish oil industry said the tax increase would have a damaging effect on investment and jobs.

The Chief Executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, Bob Collier, said: "The (UK) government's announcement that it is going to increase taxation on the oil and gas sector, which operates in a globally competitive market, is a short-sighted and potentially very damaging approach."

"Businesses working in the North Sea are already among the most highly-taxed in the country and rather than increasing that, government should be looking to reduce that tax burden to encourage development of new, smaller fields and continued production of mature, depleted fields."

The Scottish Government's finance secretary, John Swinney, who had also been calling for a reduction in petrol costs for motorists, urged the UK government not to disadvantage the Scottish oil sector.

"Fuel in the last 12 months has gone up by over 25pence a litre, and the chancellor reduced the cost of fuel by 1pence a litre", said Mr Swinney, who criticised the UK Chancellor saying that if the extra revenues being used to cut duty were applied in Scotland alone, petrol prices could be slashed by 50pence.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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